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ERIC Number: EJ766770
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 19
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0015-718X
Social Interaction and Linguistic Gain during Study Abroad
Magnan, Sally Sieloff; Back, Michele
Foreign Language Annals, v40 n1 p43-61 Spr 2007
This study investigates the role of social interaction in language gain among study abroad students in France. Using the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), the Can-Do self-assessment scale (Clark, 1981), a revised version of the Language Contact Profile (LCP; Freed, Dewey, Segalowitz, & Halter, 2001), and pre- and postdeparture questionnaires, we examine gains in oral proficiency as related to language contact in the study abroad environment. This research shows that language gain is possible during a semester-long study abroad program. It does not uphold the common belief that living situation and contact with authentic media differentiate students who improve from those who do not. Looking at the background of students (age, gender, grade point average, etc.), it reveals that only prior coursework in French correlates strongly with gains in proficiency once abroad. In its most surprising finding, this study suggests that speaking French with Americans may impede proficiency development. Student Background Information is appended. (Contains 1 table and 2 figures.)
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. 700 South Washington Street Suite 210, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-894-2900; Fax: 703-894-2905; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview